Bright ruby colour, full of fresh red summer fruits. Flavours of freshly picked raspberries, this is almost Pinot Noir-like in its purity of flavours. Gentle volume with a soft, silky tannic structure and deliciously sweet on the finish. Quite lovely.
Jacques Thienpont told me that the Le Pin 2014 was picked between 23 and 30 September at a yield of 24 hectoliter per hectare. The wine has 13% alcohol and a pH of 3.5. Of course, its gravelly soils would have been beneficial in coping with the rain compared to those on less well-drained clay soils. It has a well-defined, focused bouquet that is not as complex as a top vintage Le Pin but there is a pleasant underlying mineralité that I believe will be expressed in bottle. The palate is medium-bodied with edgy tannin, a little pinched on the mid-palate with a very linear finish with a saline, citrus fresh finish. This is one of the most tensile vintages that I have tasted in recent years: not as complex as others (and I've tasted them all except the four barrels of 2013), but it is full of nascent energy. Rather than thinking of this as Le Pin, it’s just a supremely well-crafted Pomerol.
‘We thought it would be ok when we didn’t see any rot in the vineyards and we could choose when to pick, compared with 2011, 20112 and 2013.’ There was a week’s difference between young and old vines. They use the Vieux Château Certan picking team so they can alternate. 24 hla/ha. pH 3.5, TA 3.6 g/l (= 5.5 g/l expressed as tartaric). Dense crimson. Very meaty indeed on the nose. Heady and ripe. Broad and luscious. More ripe and intense initially than any other 2014 I have tasted so far but then a cool finish with lots of sweetness. Very polished. Lift and plushness. But the elements need to come together. 13% Drink 2025-2038
Delivers its telltale aroma of succulent raspberry fruit, with beguiling spice and an echo of boysenberry and blackberry. The structure is solid, but remains remarkably silky and thoroughly ensconced in the fruit. A fine mineral accent emerges on the finish, revealing echoes of violet and lavender, but this is basically all fruit, the whole fruit and nothing but the fruit, and there's nothing wrong with that. Tasted non-blind.
Very subtle and refined with an ethereal fruit and stealth character. Medium body, integrated tannins and a delicate fruit, mineral and fresh herb aftertaste. A gorgeous pure merlot.
The 2014 Le Pin is a stratospheric, deeply moving wine. Here, the gravelly soils allowed for excellent drainage and gave the Thienpont family all the conditions needed for a late harvest. Rich, powerful and voluptuous in the glass, the 2014 boasts superb depth and concentration to match its exuberant personality. A deep, sensual wine, in 2014 Le Pin has it all. Hints of lavender, violets, plums and cassis are layered into the spellbinding finish. In 2014, this is just about as good as it gets.
Typical Le Pin. Almost Burgundian, berry-fruit fragrance. Delicate sweetness on the palate. Elegant texture with finely woven tannins. Persistent, fresh finish. Elegant, balanced and digest. Drink: 2022-2035
(100 Merlot) | 13% alc. | 77 IPT. Very bright, shining, expressive and layered, this is a fabulous Le Pin with great density and a lovely, smooth, mouth-coating flavour. The balance is undeniable with a counterpoint between luxuriousness and coolness which keep the palate on its toes. Wild strawberry and wild cherry notes abound and there is a red liquorice detail and rose petal notes here, too. With superb, effortless weight and freshness, this is an epic Le Pin.
After a near wash out in 2013 (there were only 1,000 bottles made), normal service was resumed at this bijou Pomerol property in 2014, albeit at yields of 24 hectolitres. This is fine, floral and very delicate, despite its 100% new oak. Sweet, nuanced and hauntingly balanced with notes of redcurrant and raspberry and a hint of leafy complexity. Drink: 2022-
A true pioneer, proprietor Jacques Thienpont was one of the first garagistes in Bordeaux. He makeshis wine in a space under the house that could serve as a garage if it weren't in use as a winecellar. He differs from many of his fellow garagistes, in that he insists on producing terroir-driven, balanced Pomerol, while many others still produce over-extracted, ultra-ripe wines.
The small sub-region of Pomerol is situated north-east of the industrious city of Libourne. Pomerol's soils are predominately iron-rich clay with a smattering of gravel that produce wines with extraordinary power and depth. As a result of this clay-dominance, it has the highest percentage of Merlot planted in all of Bordeaux. Certain châteaux are produced exclusively from this grape, but most incorporate smaller quantities of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc as well. Despite its hefty (if not exclusive) proportion of Merlot, many people think of wines from this region as separate entities. As one wine aficionado stated recently, "It's not Merlot. It's Pomerol." Despite the region's small size, Pomerol contains some of the world's most sought after (and expensive) wines including Pétrus, Le Pin, Lafleur, l'Evangile and Vieux Château Certan. Unlike other Bordelais subregions, there is no system of classification. The châteaux are traded on reputation alone.